If you are one of those waiting with a great idea under the hood but don’t know how to go about it, here are a few things you might want to consider.
Creating a web or a mobile application is a complex process. It involves several phases from ideation to design, and from design to implementation to testing and going live. It is best to plan for a phase-wise release rather than a masterpiece with fancy features in one shot. The idea is to solve one problem at a time. If the application gets too ambitious it might never see the light of the day. Document the purpose and the problem the application is going to solve.
Develop a prototype first before launching the full project at once. Prototypes are great because they generate feedback based on which you can design the idea better. This also helps in disciplining the budget rather than risk exhausting all funds in one go.
Understanding user experience
A product does not become great just because it solves a problem but because it is also simple to use. The key to creating a user-friendly experience is to bring the designer and the programmer closer as they come from different worldviews. A programmer has to think beyond the platform while the designer has to understand performance across various technologies and devices. A product comes alive only when form and function integrate seamlessly.
Creating a seamless experience across web and mobile involves design that goes deeper than the copy paste approach from one idea to another. You cannot directly translate experiences from web to mobile but need to first recognize the differences of context and language in different media. Mobile content has to be designed for specific needs whereas web can have further details.
From a functional level, the UX designer has to understand basic technology while the software developer must appreciate aesthetics and design philosophy. Can you have the same drop down menu design for web and mobile? Can you use the same fancy fonts and flashy images across devices? How does it affect visibility and readability in a smaller screen, how do the image resolutions appear in different media, and how fast does it load are some of the issues bound to challenge because they impact the user directly.
Optimal experience with frugal resources
New technologies have evolved making it easier and faster to implement ideas. Creating a simple e-commerce application used to
take up so much time and effort earlier but now you can create complex applications in a jiffy with platforms like Shopify. It is now possible for two people to develop a product that took several people earlier. Because of the DRY (Do not Repeat Yourself) principle, where software coding has evolved from a conventional to a configuration approach, it is now possible to develop complex applications with minimal resources. Indeed, today’s application development is not so much about using the waterfall or agile methodology but about going Oxifrugal, which is creating an Optimal Experience with Frugal resources.
Have a great idea? Go Oxifrugal and take a phase-wise approach! After all, Facebook started as a PHP based app but today it’s
available across devices and technologies to millions of people.